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William Blair
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William Blair Investment Banking Program


2021 Vault Rankings

At a Glance


“Great culture and intelligent, talented people”

“Learning and growth opportunities—high level of responsibility ”

“Great compensation”


“Long hours”

“High pressure”

“Significant travel”

The Buzz

“I know people at this firm and think highly of them”

“Best bank in Chicago; strong research”

“Impressive list of middle-market deals”

About William Blair

William Blair is an investment bank headquartered in Chicago, with offices in more than 20 cities on four continents. The firm helps corporations, financial sponsors, and owner/entrepreneurs around the world achieve their growth, liquidity, and financing objectives. Its investment banking group works on corporate board advisory projects, mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financing. Since January 2015, the firm has worked on $300 billion worth of investment banking transactions for 630 companies in 35 countries. Today, its research group covers more than 600 companies.

William Blair regularly receives accolades and awards. In 2019, two of its sell-side transactions for tech companies earned “deal of the year” honors. Mergers & Acquisitions named Gordian’s $775 million sale to Fortive the “Deal of the Year for the Middle Market.” And The Deal named e-Builder $500 million sale to Trimble the “Deal of the Year.”

In 2018, William Blair was named Mergers & Acquisitions’ “Investment Bank of the Year,” two transactions the firm advised on were recognized by Buyouts (“Deal of the Year” and “International Deal of the Year”), and various bankers were recognized by Mergers & Acquisitions (“Most Influential Women in M&A”), The Deal (“Consumer/Retail Banker of the Year”), and M&A Awards (“Netherlands Banker of the Year”).

In 2017, the firm won two “Deal of the Year” awards from Mergers & Acquisitions, and one of its bankers was named by the magazine as one of the “Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A” for the second year in a row. In 2016, the firm was awarded “M&A Deal of the Year” by Buyoutsmagazine. 

William Blair is led by Chief Executive Officer John Ettelson, and of the firm’s 1,500 employees, approximately 190 are partners.

William Blair

The William Blair Building
150 North Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 236-1600

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
President & CEO: John R. Ettelson
2019 Employees (All Locations): 1,500

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Frankfurt, Germany
London, United Kingdom
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
São Paulo, Brazil